Hitler Rant: A Meme That's Run Its Course

Perhaps it does make evil look silly, but enough already
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2010 8:53 PM CST

(Newser) – Surely you’ve seen some variation of the World War II film Downfall in which the subtitles of an Adolf Hitler rant are repurposed as commentary on one of the day’s pressing events, like the iPad, or the breakup of Oasis, or Twitter being down. Mercedes Bunz has had about enough, but tries to get to the bottom of the meme for the Guardian.

“Until recently Hitler was demonized and portrayed not as human being but the devil himself,” one German critic theorizes. “This is precisely why the Downfall meme became so incredibly popular over time: Hitler appeared in a different, more human way while he still remained the evil dictator. These competing images, the contrast between the great dictator and the little day-to-day issues, create a new and still provocative humor around Hitler.”

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